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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed my second replacement set of Front Disk Pads. My brakes seem fine, but the pads were 2/3rds gone, so replacement seemed prudent. The front rotors were turnable and still remain within spec.

The rear brakes (original shoes) showed lots of brake dust, but little wear. At 150,000 miles, I expected more wear than I'm seeing.

Is this common? Are the rear brakes on front wheel drive cars this lightly loaded?

Larry
 

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They dont do as much as the front but still should wear. Are They adjusted properly?
 

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Does your parking brake work? With the rear wheels off the ground and the brake pedal depressed, can you rotate the tire?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Parking brake works OK. In fact everything works OK With the amount of brake dust, I was expecting to see rivets exposed. Maybe .010 inches wear on the front shoes, when compared to new replacements. Rear shoes, nuttin'.

Regarding adjustment: The star wheel only allowed a click or two with an old fashioned "brake spoon" adjusing tool, before drum-shoe contact. I felt that the adjustment was OK. Since I was there, I manually adjusted both wheels to the 1-turn-max slip method I learned as a young'n.

Now, I had the car supported by 4 jackstands, and all wheels off the ground. Engine off, so no vacuum boost. When my wife held the brake, the rear wheels did not brake. A subsequent test drive found both drums to be hot to the touch, so something is happening. Was that suspension-mounted rear proportioning valve acting normally for what it thought was a "diving front end" or is more investigation needed in this area?

Larry
 

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If the wheels are not supported the proportioning valveis actve and reducing the fluid pressure. There is also a fluid reducing block in the engine compartment where the rear lines attach.

I've always been told that you put the car in reverse and sharply stop a few times to adjust rear drum brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, then my instincts are right about proportioning valve operation. I'll do some more investigating.

I only adjusted them because I was there, tinkering and was curious. Self-adjusting brakes should be left to self-adjust. The book sez that the self-adjuster will work with either forward or reverse braking. And, as I've stressed, the car seems to exibit no braking problems at all.

I only got into this chore because my maintenance records showed a lot of miles on this set of brakes.

In a burst of patriotic zeal I also decided to change the Serpentine belt. (I saw the DVD "John Adams" over the 4th. The "Don't Tread On Me" snake flag may have subliminally prompted this.) What a chore!!

No, not the changing of the belt! REMEMBERING how to change the darn thing took hours, and a jackstand. Mercifully, I finally saw the all but hidden square opening in the Tensioner body, and a couple of dopeslaps later, new belt installed effortlessly. I demoted myself to "imbecile" from "moron" for making a hash out of this simple chore, which I'd performed before! 5 years ago. Now I have to claw my way back up the ladder to regain my former status.

Larry
 

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I found the proportioning valve piston on my '02 seized, thus never allowing application of the rear brakes.

After replacement with a salvage yard unit, the rear brakes work great. I had to use a hammer to free the piston in the old it.
 
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